“I love that after a day when nothing is sure, and when I say ‘nothing’, I mean nothing, you can come home and absolutely know that if you add egg yolks to chocolate and sugar and milk, it will get thick. It’s such a comfort.”
– Julie, from the movie Julie & Julia
The same thing happens when you add egg yolks to apples and sugar and flour. Steevenson and I mixed them together (along with baking soda, brown sugar, cinnamon, vegetable oil and vanilla) on Saturday. Then, we pushed them all into a pan and, 350 degrees and 45 minutes later, we called it cake.
I’m gluten, dairy, and sugar-free, so no heaping hunk of warm apple cake smothered in salted caramel ice cream for me, but oh how I enjoyed making it. And you know what? There’s something deeply satisfying about willpower too. And the ability to stick with things can be of such infinite importance. C.S. Lewis said, “It is the capture of a strategic point from which, a few months later, you may be able to go on to victories you never dreamed of“.
Although he probably wasn’t talking about walking away from apple cake. 😉
Now it’s Sunday afternoon. Time to rest. It’s raining outside and I feel cozy under this heavy blanket on the couch. Steevenson is curled up on my left and my church program sits atop the tray table on my right. I scribbled notes from our pastor’s message all over it this week…
“Be close in relationship with people who don’t know the Good News. Don’t shout it at them from at a distance. Be close enough to whisper it.”
“A person of God on the move is really about one beggar trying to tell another beggar where to find food.”
“The last words of Jesus ought to be the first thing we do.” (Read Matthew 28:16-20)
“The word GO appears in the Bible over 1500 times.”
Sometimes, I get nervous about going to church. What with all the people, and loud music, and “party time” where we’re encouraged to strike up a conversation with a stranger. But it’s never as intimidating as my apprehension tells me it will be, and I’m always glad I went. Today, I sat in the outermost chair on the very back row and used my sleeve as a tissue while a grown woman plugged her nose and leaned backward inside a giant tub of water on the stage. The congregation started clapping before she even splashed back up and I felt a lump form in my throat thinking about how it feels to re-enter the room that way. Washed free of your broken yesterdays. Surrounded by others who keep gathering together to declare evil and death powerless against Love. Knowing that whatever each day brings, and no matter how many struggles, stressors, or symptoms come with it, we are here to exist in this extraordinary unity. And Jesus can help keep us on track. He helped people do it in person 2000-ish years ago, and every time I read the Bible, I feel like He’s saying that He still can.
Underneath my anxious feelings, I sense the presence of a firm foundation that’s thick and comforting, and I’m so grateful for that truth. So here’s to Sundays, and salvation, and sweets…especially if you’re allowed to eat them! 😉
In a large bowl, mix together:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
To those dry ingredients, add:
3 cups peeled, diced apples
1 cup chopped pecans, or walnuts, or almonds. (We skipped this step because Kevin isn’t a fan.)
To the same bowl, now add:
1 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Stir well to combine all ingredients. Press batter into ungreased 9″ x 13″ pan and pat smooth. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.
Wishing you a sweet and satisfying week, friends.
PS- I typed up this post before the storms ripped through central Alabama last night. We took shelter underground here in Pike Road, but a tornado never did end up touching down. Many people (of all ages) lost their lives just two counties over and we were devastated to hear that news when we woke up this morning. Thank you for joining us in prayer for those who are struggling in Lee County today and stay tuned for information about how we can all help.